I’m cutting .5" holes in one face of 1.25" square tube. I’m making a jig to register the hole pattern across 6 6" pieces of tube at a time. Is there a reliable way—not a measuring tape–to know exactly where the x and y axis are in order to find them again and use the jig a week from now?
The holes are .75" from the top edge of the tube and directly in the center of the short edge.
When you’re on your mark, measure with a scale from the Y bearing plate to the Y rail mounting bracket. Record that distance. Do the same from the X bearing plate. You may need to scribe a reference mark somewhere on the Y truck.
Now you can ‘nudge’ into that position as many times you want.
I use Limit switches which are pretty repeatable, but I have Mach3 system so it was easy to add the limit switches to that…
Can you cut the jig using a file that also has the holes you want to drill and then turn off the jig outline cut in Sheetcam or FirControl? This way you cut the jig outline the first time (with the holes turned off). If you can fashion a way to be able to put the jig back in the same position each time, you can run the same cut file again but on subsequent runs turn off the jig outline and just cut the holes. They should be exactly where you want them every time.
I have not done this, and dont know if it can be done, but I have done it on other machines. To re-locate the jig, you could weld some tabs onto it which fit up against the x and y sides of the water tray so it can be easily layed down and slid into the right registered position.
I guess this also assumes the cut file opens up in the same location on the machine every time, which I dont even know yet about my own machine! If it does, this technique should work (assuming cuts can be turned on and off in SheetCam and/or FireControl.)
I’ve got a slightly easier way that doesn’t involve mounting a jig to the table and trying to begin from the exact x,y point every time. This is similar to what is being described but simpler to index. I used this method when cutting a design into an old saw blade.
Cut an L bracket with two holes in line with each other that the torch tip will fit in just a bit. Perhaps 1/2 inch.
Position the bracket where ever you need to on the table. Align the torch inside one hole and zero all. Run the torch up to the next hole and verify the bracket is square. Return the torch to X,y zero. Set origin to center.
In your design file for the holes to be cut in the tube, make the center of it the indexing hole. In post processing, make that hole cut last.
Run the file, stop the program before it gets to the last hole.
You tell the Firecontrol where to place the file on the machine by zeroing the X/Y on the spot where you want the Origin point of the drawing to be. There is no “home” position on the Crossfire and Crossfire Pro machines. Generally, you design with the Origin at the lower left corner of an imaginary square around the drawing. You can change that Origin location in Firecontrol, by using the “set program origin” button.
Crashing the machine each and every time you want to cut a new piece of stock sounds like it’s one hell of a way to wear out your machine, has anyone been able to successfully DIY a limit switch setup? Kinda tired of waiting on Langmuir to come up with something. I have a bunch of parts I need to cut and this is a serious bottle neck in the whole operation
It definitely is not ideal. I myself do not do any indexing like that if possible. I try to keep my shapes so it’s cutting out the whole piece and not to the edge of a piece so you don’t have to worry about indexing.
In the future I do hope they come out with a upgrade kit for the pro.